Well... until they don't.
I am talking about virtual friendship and the pitfalls of acquaintance.
Today I received a terse and rather unhappy private message from a social media acquaintance.
My prolific sharing of "homo & devil worship" materials, memes, articles, associations and events over our year and a half connection had driven this soul to frothing rage.
I was summarily dumped from their 'friend' list and wished in distain that I "find Jesus before I drag my whole family to hell."
Obviously I am not sad to no longer be this person's acquaintance.
As my writing in this blog should attest I am fairly open about most aspects of life.
I speak freely and openly about sex, love, religion, politics, and nature.
And if I've accepted your request for friendship, virtual or otherwise, it is because I want to get to know and like YOU.
It's not only the parts of you that we can agree about that I like but the whole, glorious, human that makes you.
I don't have to worship, love, look, speak, vote, live, shop, grow, parent or exist lock step with you to LOVE you.
I am perfectly clear that you and I can disagree on oodles of stuff listed above and we BOTH are great people. As long as we agree to respect each other's boundaries. As long as compassion rules our passions.
And when we step over each other's boundaries, screw up, get furious with one another we can always come back to the core of our mutual love and respect. We all fuck up or get genuinely angry with each other. It's how we repair the trust that matters.
I tried to ask this person to discuss their obvious discomfort and distaste with core portions of who I am. That too was shot down because apparently I have "an agenda!"
Yep. You betcha I do! And here it is:
Equal opportunity to express those two concepts in all facets of living.
The mind is like a book. It can only be opened if you want it to be.
As I posted to my page on said social media, I am sorry you didn't get the memo that I am a bisexual, neopagan. But when you sent me the friend request I saw that you were a conservative, fundamental Christian. I was fine with that. I respect your values and form of worship.
I tailored my feeds to you so that you had limited access to most of my posts. A courtesy I extend to anyone I don't know well or who may not want to see everything I share.
Grandma wants to see my kidlet grow. She doesn't want to know what I am eating, reading, or watching on the boob-tube. Or how my relationship with her child is strained because the garbage went out late. Or that I love using curse words.
But it is my page. I don't cross post or tag folks without full consideration. And I am going to share things that are relevant to me on my page.
And we all earn the right to enter each others deeper, closer circles of connection. It takes time. And value calls on who gets what access are vitally important.
I wasn't this person's cup of tea. And not all getting-to-know-you periods lead to friendship. And that's okay. Okeydoke! No harm. No foul. Until....
You take the time to yell and wish eternal torment at a fellow adult (me and my whole genetic line) because you don't believe like them (or I refuse to worship exactly like you).
So if my being an animist and hard polytheist who currently is part of an ADF style druidic congregation bothers you? So be it!
I will still be proud to share that my first public liturgy is a Blessing rite to LBGTQ and hetero normative love. I wrote the invocations and closely worked with my Grove liturgists and I think it is going to be great. And if you don't care don't come. Really don't come.
I am proud that my husband & I have been together since 1992! Our decades long, loving, monogamous partnership doesn't change the fact that I am a human being who is sexually attracted to both sexes. The soul I love is part of a male body. You don't like non-heterosexual couplings? Don't engage in non-hetero coupling. But don't tell me and those I love how we are doing it 'wrong'.
My delightful cousin, who I've adored since we were both toddlers, said it best:
"I wish people would spend more time trying to help others than worrying about what they are offended by. It's silly."
I 100% agree!